August (? - 1884)
Contact: Crystal Wendt
Surnames: Leidiger, Brisbois, Freeman, Grivelly, Martin, Sturdevant, O’Neill, Olson, Clark, Myers, Youmans
----Sources: Neillsville Times (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.) 21 Oct. 1884
Leidiger, August (? - 15 Sept. 1884)
THE CURTISS MURDER
August Leidiger, a German, residing at Curtiss, Clark County, went away hunting on the afternoon of Monday, Sept. 15th. He did not return in the evening and the alarm was given the next morning, when a large number of men started out on the search. From that time until Sunday, Sept. 21st the search was continued, as high as a hundred and six men engaged in it. On Sunday the body was discovered by G. A. Brisbois, about two miles from his home on an old logging road. There were two bullet holes through the body - one through the left side and one through the head. His gun lay beside him. The body was brought to his house, and Doctors Freeman and Grivelly, of Colby, called to attend the coroner’s investigation. The funeral was held on Monday, the 22nd , and on Wednesday following Mrs. Leidiger with her children stared for Edwards, Sheboygan county, where her people reside. Suspicion pointed to Albert Martin, young German 21 years old, whose people reside a mile north of Curtiss, Wis. He was arrested on Thursday, 25th, and confined in the jail in Neillsville, Wis. Last week Monday his examination came on at Curtiss, before Justice L. M. Sturdevant. District Attorney Youmans appeared for the state and James O’Neill for the prisoner. Sheriff Myers had gone to Sheboygan County after Mrs. Leidiger, and arrived on the train Tuesday forenoon. Many witnesses were examined, but up to Tuesday noon no evidence was elicited to throw much suspicion on the prisoner, who stoutly protested his innocence.
Mrs. Leidiger, a woman 31 years old, was then put on the stand. She testified that about 5 o’clock, on the afternoon of Sept. 15th, her husband and Martin went away hunting; that Martin returned about 5 o’clock and looked frightened, and said he had shot her husband through the neck, and for her not to day anything or another would be gone. He went away and she continued her sewing. Shortly after a Mrs. Olson came in, and she said nothing about it to her, although she remained all night. The next day she went to Rudolph Martin’s, a brother of the prisoner, where she staid a day. She then went to Nathan Clark’s and remained until she went to Sheboygan County. During all this time while the whole neighborhood was hunting for her husband, she steadily said to all who asked her that she knew nothing about the cause of this absence. She testified that she had not told her father or mother or any person until she communicated these facts to the district attorney that day.
While she was testifying the prisoner became greatly agitated, his cigar fell from his fingers, his face became flushed, he steadily gazed at the floor, and it was evident there was a great burden on his mind. To his brother he there made confession that he was the murderer and that he expected to marry Mrs. Leidiger.
Mrs. Leidiger returned the same day to Sheboygan County, and the prisoner was brought to Neillsville, Wis. Yesterday the justice bound him over to stand his trial. The whole truth is probably not yet known. However is seems incredible that a woman could receive information that her husband had been shot and act as Mrs. Leidiger did unless she was a participant in the crime.
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